In the Studio, pentax 645Z, Photography, profoto
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Dia de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos (Día de Muertos) is the Mexican holiday also known as Day of the Dead. Before Spanish colonization the holiday took place in summer, but is now celebrated on November 2nd, just after All Saints’ Eve (more commonly known as Halloween).  For me, the festival seems to share more in common with Okinawa’s Obon celebrations than ghoulish Halloween.

Halloween is usually thought of as night to scare away ghosts and monsters, but during Okinawa’s Obon and on Día de los Muertos families clean graves and tombs, decorate them, and give offerings of food. The departed are welcomed back to spend time with the family once again.

Día de los Muertos celebrations were featured at the start of the Bond movie Spectre, and are the theme of the latest Disney / Pixar movie Coco.

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My friend Bernadette is Mexican American and we thought a Día de los Muertos inspired shoot would be fun. We collaborated with makeup artist Audra Pesicka who transformed Bernadette into “Catrina” with her distinctive skull.

Images were shot with the Pentax 645Z and the 90mm lens. I used a Profoto D2 with gridded beauty dish as the main light and a B1 with 1×4 softbox as the hair light.

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A huge thank you to Audra Pesicka for the amazing makeup, to Yuki for assisting, and to Bernadette for modeling and introducing her heritage to us.

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